Only one word can simply summarize the bike trails at Kicking Horse Bike Park: diverse. Luckily there is enough space below here so that a more detailed summary is possible. Perched high above the town on the east side of the Purcell Mountians, the trails can be divided into 3 distinct zones: the upper mountain, the mid mountain, and the lower mountain.
The upper mountain is accessed by the gondola and consists of only blue (intermediate) and black (advanced) trails. If you are a total beginner reading this on the gondola, seriously consider staying on the gondola and going back down and getting on the Catamount chair. This upper zone is characterized by spectacular scenery, wide-open alpine trails, some sharp rocks, beautiful dirt, and occasionally remarkably aggressive weather. The trails are all reached via the 10 Rd, which runs along the top of the ridge that extends from the top of the gondola into Crystal Bowl. There are a number of hip jumps on the side to amuse you. Beware of hikers who share this road. Below this, the trail offerings range from cliff hucking, to weaving among boulders, to meandering down a meadow, to white-knuckling down an old goat track. Heck, there is even an uphill pedal trail for those who prefer to earn their turns. There really is no other zone like it at a bike park in North America.
Still only accessible via the gondola, the mid mountain is another kind of beast. At the top of this zone the topography noticeably steepens, and, let’s be honest, that doesn’t make for the simplest trail building. But you didn’t come here to go “gentle hill biking” did you? Because of the severity of the terrain, the top of this zone offers the fewest trail options. But you can still choose between machine-made and singletrack trails that offer as much flow as we can squeeze out of a mountain-sized rock. There are also amazing rock slabs, elevated woodwork and chubby berms. The bike park is constantly seeking and creating new solutions for geography’s problems, so check back regularly for updates on upgrades.
The lower mountain is accessed by the Catamount Chair (and the gondola) and has a wide variety of trail types for all levels of rider. Here the slope angle is gentle and the dirt is deep. There are trails suitable for beginners to start developing their rad, moderate trails full of berms and jumps that everyone can enjoy, old-school singletrack to test the vitality of your brakes, more elevated woodwork, and some big ol’ dirt jumps to amp up the wahoo factor.
Don’t have a DH rig? Not a problem. The brand new alpine uphill-specific trail allows you to continuously loop all the alpine trails with your XC or freeride bike, then return to the top of the gondola for a download, or continue to the valley bottom via the advanced T4 route. You can also ride the Catamount chair trails without the need of an aggressively beefy bike. And KHMR makes for a great base for rides to the CBT and Moonraker XC networks via the Scalli Mag connector trail.